Financial committee redesigned

By Sara Blankenheim

Some Student Association-recognized organizations won’t be able to present their budget to the finance committee this semester — but they haven’t been slighted.

SA Treasurer Shaun Crisler, also the head of the finance committee, has re-designed the financial committee process to make it more convenient.

“Basically what happened is I rewrote the financial committee process,” he said. “The financial process can be kind of vicious.”

The previous process consisted of organizations turning in their budgets and immediately coming up for approval.

“Organizations would come before the finance committee and a $15,000 budget would be assessed in about 15 minutes,” Crisler said.

Crisler said the order in which organizations receive money originally was more rushed.

“You can’t really assess things that way,” he said. “If you’re dealing with $1.3 million, and you’ve already given away $900,000, that’s going to be in the back of your mind for the rest of the organizations you hear from.”

Crisler referred to the problem as a typical shopping experience.

“If you want to get a shirt, but you’ve already spent $200, you probably won’t get the shirt,” he said. “However, if you haven’t spent any money yet, you probably will get that shirt you really wanted.”

Jessa Joseph, vice president of finance for Campus Activities Board, thinks the new process is a step forward.

“We have a large budget,” she said. “I think it’s more fair this way, when they review everyone first.”

The new financial process entails taking every organization into consideration before any money is distributed.

“We haven’t given any money out to organizations yet,” Crisler said. “This year we want to hear everyone first before we vote on who gets money and who doesn’t.”

This new process will assure that all organizations have an equal chance to get the money they desire.

“The way I wrote it, it doesn’t matter if you’re heard first or dead last,” Crisler said.

Kevin Wong, president of the Asian-American Association, said AAA has not been impacted by the change, although it has not gone before the committee.

“Right now, no, it hasn’t affected us,” he said.

The reason that many organizations haven’t been heard is because of time constraints.

“The way it works is organizations sign up for a time that they can meet with the finance committee,” Crisler said. “The only problem is sometimes the time that organizations are available isn’t a time the committee can meet.”

Crisler seemed positive about the response so far.

“I think it went well,” he said. “It went smoothly with a few questions, a few answers and a smile. In the end, I think organizations will be happy.”